It’s the time of year where the garden is in full swing. If you can’t eat what’s out there, you want to be able to preserve it for later. Today, I’m going to be picking green beans and getting them ready to put into the freezer. When picking green beans, it’s easier if you use both hands. If you just yank on the beans with one hand, you run the risk of pulling up the whole plant. Now, in all honesty, I should have gotten out to pick sooner. Some of the beans have gotten too big and are going to be tough and woody. Once your done picking, it’s time to head inside to prepare the beans for freezing.
Before washing the beans, I’m going to make sure that the sink is clean.You don’t want the remnants of last night’s dinner contaminating your produce. Then, I’m going to wash the green beans in cold water getting rid of any dirt, bugs, etc.
Next, it’s on to the cutting board. Here, I’m going to cut off the ends and slice the beans into smaller pieces. I’m also on the lookout for rust, yellowing, or other blemishes on the beans. We’re going to throw those parts out.
Now, it’s time to blanch the beans in boiling water. Adding salt to the water will help prevent nutrients from leaching out of the vegetables and will help maintain color. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, I going to add the vegetables. About 2-3 cups per batch. You’ll want to blanch the beans “2 – 4 minutes” depending on their size. Most of these beans were pretty large, so I’m going to blanch them for 4 minutes.
When the timer goes off, it’s into the ice water. Give them a stir now and then so they cool evenly. You’ll want to let the beans cool for “at least 3 minutes”. After a short break, I’ll get the next batch started. Then, I’ll move these beans from the ice water into a colander to dry. We’re basically going to repeat this process until all our beans are done.
Finally, we’re ready to put the beans into freezer bags. My kids aren’t big green bean fans, so I’m going to put 2-3 cups per bag for use in soups or stews. Try to get as much air out of the bag as you can by hand, or you can use a straw to suck the air out. The green beans will be good in the freezer for around “8-10 months”, so make sure you label the bags with the date that you processed them. Happy gardening!